PENROSE – St. Louis Public Library just put another service on its books: Curbside Pickup Service.
Now, instead of getting out of the car, library-users can simply pull up and an employee will bring books and other items out.
The Julia Davis Branch Library, 4415 Natural Bridge Avenue at North Newstead Avenue, is currently the only north St. Louis location that offers the new service, which started last month. If library patrons prove it useful, it will expand to more branches.
Currently, only three other branches offer the service: Central, at 1301 Olive Street downtown; and Carpenter and Buder, both in south city at 3309 South Grand Boulevard and 4401 Hampton Avenue, respectively.
“The idea is to see how it does and then maybe expand,” said Jen Hatton, PR and digital manager for SLPL.
Hatton said the library had decided to offer the service as a convenience to library patrons.
“We understand that lives are crazy and hectic and routine are sometimes busy and you don’t always have time or the luxury to make it inside of one of our locations to brows our shelves,” she said.
Patrons could have children in the car, be on lunch break or be injured “or just simply want to use the service,” Hatton said.
Library patron Peter Long, who uses a wheelchair full-time, said he actually liked coming inside of the library but could see why the new service would be beneficial to others.
“It’s a nice option for some people, but I don’t think it’s necessary – but I’m old-school,” said Long, who was filling out papers at a table in the Julia Davis branch on Friday morning.
“I think it will good for people who have to juggle a lot of things,” Long said.
Long said another reason that the service wouldn’t work for him was that he didn’t own a computer or have Internet access, something patrons would need to initiate the service.
Those who want to check out books using the curbside service first have to place the items on hold by using slpl.org or the SLPL mobile app. On the site or app, patrons then select one of the three participating branches.
Once notified via email or phone that the items are ready, patrons call the library at 314-539-0364 to schedule a pick-up time. Upon arrival, patrons pull into the designated space reserved for the pick-up service.
The Julia Davis branch’s pick-up point is in the rear of the building, where a sign is posted. When patrons arrive, they call the phone number again (it’s printed on the sign) to alert library staff that they have arrived. They must present their library card to receive their order.
The Curbside Pickup Service is available 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It is not available on Sunday.